“The first step in blogging is not writing them
but reading them.” — Jeff Jarvis
I agree, although for me, it’s just reading, then reading more. I’ve always been such an insane reader. I may be one of the few kids whose mother had to wrench books from her fists and push her out the door. She believed in reading, but she also believed in air and exercise. Personally, I’d have been happy to live forever wrapped in books.
I have always been wrapped in books. I’ve never stopped reading. I didn’t read blogs per se but I read a lot of newsletters and magazines. I also wrote for newspapers. In fact, while I was the editor of a very short-lived English-language newspaper in Israel, we were short of money, so I used different names and wrote news, interviews, astrology, cooking, and occasionally, crossword puzzles. The poorer we got, the more names I collected and the more articles I wrote.
Blogging was to me a lot like writing a letter and I’d done a lot of that while I was overseas. The length was similar and the style was right up my alley. I think if I had to pick the one format I was really good at? Writing letters. So when blogging became a thing, it was duck to water time for me.
I didn’t read a lot of blogs, but I’d been a writer since I was old enough to clutch a pencil in my hand and a reader as soon as I could figure out which letters were which. My mother said I was three, but I don’t remember. I’ve had the babble of every writer I love banging around in my head for a lifetime. Blogging is just the best way I’ve found to get that stuff out of my head and into a format someone else can read.
Do I read other blogs? Sure I do, but I admit I read things that I find interesting. And what I find interesting is not the same from one day to the next.
Even though there are days when using this format make me froth at the mouth, I’m still grateful I have the opportunity to write. I really don’t know what I’d do with myself if I didn’t write. I need somewhere to post photographs and drawings, too. I decided that writing isn’t a profession. It’s a style of personhood. You don’t “become a writer” by getting a job writing. You start writing. You read and you think, “Hmm. I like that style.”
So then, you write something different, maybe with a hint of that last author echoing in your style.
I don’t know if reading blogs is necessarily the answer, but reading IS the answer. Whatever you read, whether it’s news or recipes or fiction or history or poetry? It doesn’t matter. Just read and then read some more.